Friday, September 27, 2013

I Love Lime Green!

There is just something about an acid lime green that I love. Maybe it is the way that it looks against my skin or eye color, but whatever it is, I always feel super cool when I wear it. I paired it with double top liner in black and purple to complement the green.
1. Prime the eyes with Urban Decay Primer Potion then use a matte white pencil or cream shadow as a base all over the lid to make the white shadows stand out.
2. Take a matte white eyeshadow and place it all over the lid and up to the eyebrow.
3. Blend a matte charcoal gray into the crease and follow the socket line to give dimension to the eye.
4. Take a black liquid liner, my favorite is Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner in 'Trooper', and line the upper lash line, flicking it out into a cat-eye shape.
5. Trace above the black liner with a purple liquid liner, I used one by NYX.
6. Place a silver glitter, mine is a Sephora Collection Glitter eyeliner (you must absolutely go check these out, they are one of my all time favorite Sephora products) on the inner corner of the upper eyelid for contrast against the matte shadows.
7. Take a lime green eyeshadow and blend a thick, blown out line under the bottom lashes, connecting the color to the inner and outer corners of the eye.
8. Line the bottom waterline with a white pencil to make the green stand out even more.
9. Add mascara and then add false lashes to the outer corners of the eyes to make them appear more almond shaped.
10. Finish by filling in the brows where needed to frame the eyes, I used my trusty Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Ash.

Foundation: Illamasqua Skinbase applied with Beauty Blender
Concealer: MAC Pro Longwear applied with Beauty Blender
Powder: MUFE HD Translucent Powder
Under Eye Powder: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder 'Ethereal Light' (a new holy grail item for me)
Blush: Hard Candy Living Doll
Bronzer: Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess
Highlight: Laura Mercier in 'Highlight 01'

Illamasqua matte lipstick in 'Fable'

Thursday, September 26, 2013

End of Summer Rainbow Eyes

I know that it's fall and I'm supposed to be wearing warm, rich hues, but I love brightly colored shadows way too much to leave them behind with the summertime! I combined random single shadows that I had collected over the years, but I linked an actual palette as a suggestion, just in case you don't have lots of rainbow colors lying around.

This colorful combination reminded me of the tropics with gorgeous exotic flowers and crystalline waters. It was nice to pretend it was still summertime even though I was wrapped up in a sweater! A tip for rainbow makeup would be to use shades that are more matte. They will show up more vibrantly than their sparkly counterparts.

1. Prime eyes with Urban Decay Primer Potion
2. Place a bright yellow shadow in the inner corner of the upper eyelid, I used one from MUFE.
3. Place a hot pink shade on the center of the upper eyelid and blend softly into the yellow. I used one from Urban Decay.
4. Take a purple and place it in the outer corner of the upper lid, blending it into the crease as well as into the pink shadow.
5. Use a lime green pencil on the inner corner of the lower lash line and set it with a similar colored shadow, then repeat the same liner-set-with-shadow process for the teal green and the dark blue. I used Urban Decay pencils and shadows for this.
6. I then lined my lower waterline with a bright blue pencil and added mascara and a sharp liquid winged liner on the top lid.
7. Finish the look by adding large false lashes, mine are Sephora lashes in 'Mink' and fill in your brows where needed to add a frame for your eyes. I used my beloved Anastasia Brow Wiz in Ash Brown.

Foundation: Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse
Concealer: Mac Pro Longwear Concealer
Powder: Maybelline Dream Matte Powder
Blush: Hard Candy Living Doll
Bronzer: Chanel Soleil de Tan 
Highlight: Laura Mercier in 'Highlight 01'

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 'Darling'


I think that the Make Up For Ever Technicolor Palette is a nice option for creating rainbow eyes. You basically have every color you need except for the pink, and you can use a blush for that. If you are looking to duplicate this with drugstore items, I would check out the Wet n' Wild shadows as they usually have fun,  unexpected colors.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Sponge Changed My Life...

Or maybe just my Makeup Routine... either way, it's kind of a big deal. The Beauty Blender. I know you all have heard of it, and heard of it and heard of it. I myself was quite skeptical that a little pink egg shaped sponge could make my foundation look THAT much better, I thought I was doing just fine with my brushes or even my fingers sometimes. I halfway gave in to the hype last year and bought a knock off beauty blender from Walgreens, which I hated by the way. It flaked and left little pieces of pink foam all over my face and it ate up all of my foundation. I couldn't justify spending gjggjkjgj on the real sponge, but now I get it. It works, and it delivers beautiful results.

So how did I fall in love with this little guy after swearing never to try one again? I was finishing my shift at Sephora and I needed to purchase a few items for myself. So I grabbed my Benefit 'Stay Don't Stray' (I use it beneath my under eye concealer) and headed into the cashwrap. The 'Beauty to Go' section is there for a reason, and as I was waiting in line I perused the little boxes filled with shiny new makeup products. I spotted the solid cleanser for the Beauty Blender and thought I would try it to clean my brushes. I had tried the Sephora and Mac brush cleansers in the past and was not satisfied with their performance but I needed to deep clean my brushes as I had a few wedding trials coming up. So I brought it up to the register as well and pulled out my wallet. One of the managers stopped me and asked in a surprised voice why I was buying the cleanser. I told her I was going to give a try and she told me that we already got it in gratis. I hadn't received mine yet so she brought out a bag with my name on it filled with new products to try. Inside, among other things, were the Beauty Blender and the solid cleanser, and that brings us back to present day. 

Except my perceived dislike of the Beauty Blender held me up from using it for a few weeks... and this was after I got it for FREE. I just thought I would hate it like before. I used the cleanser in my brushes right away and I really liked it, but the pink egg sat in the bag untouched. This morning I finally decided to try it with my Illamasqua Skin Base foundation (I didn't completely love the results with the brush) and I was blown away. Perfect, and I mean perfect skin. I actually said 'wow' to myself in the mirror, the texture was perfect and the coverage was to die for. 
Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation applied with the Beauty Blender

You just run it under the sink, squeeze out the excess water and bounce it along your face for completely customized coverage. It also takes seconds, literally. Use the larger round side for the face, and the smaller pointy side for under the eyes and for concealing blemishes. I did my foundation with it, and then I took my Mac Pro Longwear Concealer and bounced that right under my eyes. It was perfect. So perfect that I wish I could send you all your own Beauty Blender right now! Go check it out, and get the cleanser too, because without it, they can be tricky to get clean. 5 stars for sure, and I will absolutely repurchase it. A tutorial on this look is coming soon!

Blue & Silver Mod Cat-Eye

This past month at work (at Sephora) we have been focusing on the launch of Marc Jacobs, and our store decided to hold a 2 day contest of who could recreate the best Marc look. My friend Roylence won the first day for her representation of 'The Vamp' and I won the second day for my take on 'The Mod'. Below is a photo of what I created and a step by step tutorial of how to recreate it!

1. Prime the eyes with Urban Decay Primer Potion.
2. Lay down a base for the darker colors with shimmery white cream shadow all the way up to the brow bone.
3. With an angled liner brush, cut the crease in a thin line with a dark blue eyeshadow.
4. Using a clean pencil brush, soften the blue line so that the edges feather slightly.
5. Pat a sparkly silver eyeshadow just onto the lid, being careful to not cover up the blue.
6. Go over the blue again with a pencil brush, adding more definition and depth to the blue.
7. Use a dark blue gel liner to create a dramatic cat eye and then connect it all the way around the eye. You can clean up any mistakes and sharpen the edges with a q-tip and some makeup remover.
8. Add mascara and wispy false lashes.
9. Frame the eyes by shaping and filling in your eyebrows where needed. I used my Anastasia Brow Wiz in 'Ash Brown'.

Foundation: Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse
Concealer: Mac Pro Longwear in NC-15
Powder: Maybelline Dream Matte Powder
Blush: Hard Candy 'Living Doll'
Bronzer: NYC 'Sunny' 
Highlight: Laura Mercier in 'Highlight 01'

Mac Creamcup

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sephora Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation Review

Everyone loves the idea of airbrush foundation and it's promises to deliver even, perfect skin while remaining weightless and long lasting. Unfortunately, airbrush machines are expensive and tricky to use without experience, and most airsol versions of airbrush are really thick and patchy or come with a big price tag. I am happy to say that this formula is neither! It delivers beautiful, even coverage and is only $26 dollars for 2.5oz! 

Rachel with and without the Sephora Perfection Mist Airbrush foundation

Best ways to apply:
I like this foundation the best when applied with a flat-topped kabuki brush. I use one from Target by e.l.f. for $3 and it does a great job. Apply your concealer first so you don't mar the finish of the spray. No powder needed, even for oily skin, I promise!

I find that if you it spray directly onto your face (the can says you can apply it this way) it gets messy really quickly. I tried throwing my hair into a towel and spraying it on, but I still think it is a messy and wasteful way to use it. It has a natural matte finish that looks similar to skin and it really does last all day long. I introduced it to my good friend Rachel after she told me she was looking for a foundation that would smooth over her pores and cover well while still looking natural. I checked back with her after a week and she said it was the best foundation she had ever tried. While it is not my personal holy grail item (my skin is a tad to dry), I think it is a near perfect match for skin that tends to get shiny and has had problems with foundations slipping off.

Lasts ALL day
Photographs well (no SPF)
Keeps oil at bay
looks natural
covers well

Poor color selection, only 5 colors available
Can be messy if sprayed directly at the face

At the end of the day, I would repurchase this foundation to use on clients looking for all-day oil control, or for myself when I need a super duty, tsunami-proof foundation.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Vampy Eyes and Berry Lips

Even though green is one of my favorite colors of clothing, I rarely wear it on my eyes and I wanted to start incorporating it more often into my makeup. So I created this look around the jewel tone colors of fall while using a dark forest green as my starting point.

I primarily used the Smashbox Master Class II palette for this look but you can use any shadows you have. You will just need dark green, dark purple, gold and some sort of highlighting shade. 

1. Apply eyeshadow primer and trace out the shape of the crease with a soft matte brown so it can be your blending color.
2. Then blend a deep forest green into the crease, outer 'v' and inner socket to create dramatic definition while avoiding the first half of the eye. 
3. Place a shimmery gold shadow into the empty space in the inner half of the eye and blend it into the green.
4. Deepen the outer 'v' with a matte eggplant purple shade.
5. Use a black liquid liner on the top lash line (I like Kat Von D Tattoo Liquid Liner in 'Trooper')
6. Line under the eyes with the gold shadow on the inner half and the forest green shadow on the outer half.
6. Finish off the eyes with mascara, I used Guerlain 'Cils d'Enfer' and glue on rhinestones with clear eyelash glue.

Foundation: Make Up For Ever Face and Body in shades 20 & 38
Concealer: Guerlain issima precious light smoothing illuminator in 'Rose 00'
Face Powder: MUFE HD Translucent Setting Powder
Under Eye Powder: Bare Minerals finishing veil
Blush: from the Smashbox palette, shades 'Geranium' & 'Warm Apricot'
Bronzer: Chanel Soleil de Tan
Highlighter: Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder compact 'Highlight 01'

Sephora lipliner in 'Brilliant Berry'
Bite lipstick in 'Cassis'

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Easy Neutral Eye

You only need three colors of shadow for this everyday eye look, a light, a medium and a dark. I picked taupe-y shades, but this can also be done with browns or grays. 

1. Place a shade that is similar to your skin tone all over your eyelid and up into the crease. This will serve as your base color.

2. Take your medium shade and blend it onto the outer half of your eye. Also take this color and start to build up a bit of depth in your crease with windshield wiper motions.

3. Add your darkest color to the outer 'v' of your eye and softly sweep along the bottom lash line.

4. While not necessary, highlighting the inner corner and brow bone with a shade lighter than your skin tone really finishes the look.

5. Add liner and mascara and you are done!

Top 3 Marc Jacobs Beauty Products

Bold colors, innovative textures and playful names can all be found in the debut collection of the well known fashion designer, Marc Jacobs. This comprehensive line contains everything from foundation to bronzer to mascara, but these next three items have proved themselves to become my favorites after having a chance to play around with them on clients as well as on myself. Besides being slightly overpriced (you are partially paying for the designer name), Marc's collection is a solid start into what I imagine will eventually become a famous luxury cosmetic line like so many other high class fashion designers have created before him.

1. Highliner - Gel Crayon Eye Pencil
This gel based pencil comes in 6 colors and retails for $25.00. It is retractable with a built in sharpener and applies extremely smooth with a waterproof finish. The statement colors are easy to smudge out for a soft smokey look or to wear alone as a bold line. My favorite color is Jazz(berry) which is a pretty garnet shade.

2. Remedy Concealer Pen
It's smooth, weightless and delivers significant coverage for the under eye area. It has a metal tip that feels refreshing and cool on the skin. It applies very evenly and is easy to blend for a bright, wide awake look.  This concealer comes in 9 colors and retails for $39.00.

3. Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Laquer
The nail polishes from this collection just might be my favorite! With 24 colors and a multitude of finishes, everyone is going to find some favorites. Pictured above from left to right are: Glinda, Sally, and Le Charm. The photos represent the colors pretty well, but you should really go into Sephora and check them out for yourself because you are sure to fall in love. Each polish retails for $18.00.

What are your favorite Marc Jacobs products?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fun Makeup for Brown Eyes

I was on Pinterest a few nights ago and came across this cool image. It was titled 'Perfect Makeup for Brown Eyes' and it immediately caught my eye because it wasn't the usual colors used to enhance brown eyes. The next morning I went through my makeup stash and pulled out similar items to re-create this look. Because I didn't have too many orange shadows, I used blushes, which I think worked out very well. I have used this bright blue shadow before in combination with softer shades of grays here, and I think that this blue is the magic color in this combination for bringing out brown eyes.

Take a light, warm, neutral shadow, I used number (1) from the Smashbox palette, and sweep it along the lid and up to the brow bone for a nice base color. Build warm orange-peach tones, colors (2) and (3), into the crease to create dimension. Carefully pat the bright blue shade from the Maybelline palette onto the lid, focusing most of the color on the inner half of the eye. On a pencil brush, take a dark matte brown, number (4) from the Smashbox palette, and deepen the outer corner of the eye. Line the bottom lash line and waterline with a bright blue pencil, the one I used is discontinued but you can find a similar one here. Set the pencil liner with the same Maybelline blue shadow, and finish off the eyes with mascara and black winged liner on the top lid. I used Bobbi Brown Gel Liner and Maybelline Mega Plush Mascara.

Foundation: Urban Decay Naked Skin
Powder: Maybelline Dream Matte Powder
Bronzer: Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess
Blush: Blushes (2) and (3) from the Smashbox palette
Highlight: Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked powder in #01

To finish off the look, I swiped on some bright orange gloss from Dior Addict in #542.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Welcome, Welcome!

Welcome to my new blogging site! My name is Nicole and I love being creative. I work as a makeup artist and a photographer but I also tutor math part time and enjoy science. This blog will serve as a platform that can be updated regularly with my new projects, as well as tips and tricks that I have learned over the years! I will post reviews on products and create step-by-step looks of makeup that I enjoy. Please comment with any suggestions or things you would like to see in the future!